Killing - by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
an In-depth Interview With Dave Grossman>
This book is a "must read" for anyone who is
seriously interested in the study violence and violence prevention.
Lt. Col. Grossman does an excellent job of synthesizing the relevant
literature related to the psychological effects of learning to kill while
under the command of legitimate authority. He discusses the inherent
resistance in most human beings to killing other people. He then
discusses military training methods that have been designed to turn off
that "don't kill" instinct in military personnel.
Grossman also discusses the traumatic stress induced by
killing during combat and how the requirement to kill contributes to the
psychiatric casualties of war. He also discusses the various methods
of killing as determined by the psychological distance between the
"killer" and the person being killed. He shows how the
atrocities such as massacres periodically occur among
"civilized" troops, operating under international laws of
combat. He gives a number of case examples to show how the
literature on killing actually emerged in real combat situations.
In his final chapter, Grossman describes how we are in
fact imposing military type training that desensitizes people to violence
and death upon our children in the form of graphically violent films and
I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested
in the dynamics of violence within society.
Terence T. Gorski